A reader emailed me with a good question, followed by a very good question. It’s about a highly effective strategy I mention often, yet I’ve never previously explained that it’s guaranteed to work, at least to some extent.
He asked: How can I earn the trust of prospective customers, when they don’t already know me?
My reply: Make a big, audacious promise to your marketplace, with a confirmed deadline, then deliver the promise on time.
He then had an even better follow-up question.
He asked: But what if something goes wrong and I deliver after the deadline?
My reply: Well, you’ll have proven to your marketplace that you’re brave enough to set clear, measurable deadlines. In addition, you’ll have proven that you’re honest enough to admit you were late. Whilst also proving that you’re professional and dedicated enough to keep going and deliver, albeit late, rather than quit and fail to deliver at all.
In short, even if things go wrong, you’ll still have proven your; courage, honesty, professionalism and dedication. Those are huge trust-building assets.
If you’ve heard me extol the effectiveness of setting deadlines before, yet been worried about the potential downside, I hope this gives you a clearer understanding.